THE POSSESSING SPIRIT
How do we who are men of clay become men of gold? As we pray, repent, and confess to the Lord, the Spirit, this intensified Spirit, fills us. If we do not pray, or if we do not open to repent and confess our sins when we pray, there is no way for us to be thus transformed. The more we open in our praying, the more we shall be filled with this sevenfold Spirit.
This Spirit is like a lamp, shining in us. He ruthlessly exposes us. Because we do not fully open to Him, however, His work is not accomplished all at once. As we open a little, He comes in. The next day we may open the door to another room, but just a small crack. The Lord will put His foot in, and we tell Him that is enough. Then His shoulder may follow. Sometimes we argue with Him. Sometimes He argues with us. Sometimes He simply stays there knocking on one of the doors. Eventually we cannot help but open to Him. We are not all that pleased for Him to be there, because we no longer feel as comfortable in that room as we did before He came in. Little by little, as we pray and confess, the Lord goes from room to room. For some the time is longer, for others shorter, but it takes a few years. Even then we are not entirely possessed by Him.
We who are saved and love the Lord must be fully occupied by Him. The Lord will not become impatient. To Him a thousand years are like a day. If we refuse to let Him in today, He will try again tomorrow. If He cannot gain an entrance this year, He will be back again next year. Even if we hold out for this age, in the next age He will come again. Sooner or later He will occupy us fully. Years ago I decided I would like to have this matter settled quickly. It is pointless to bargain with Him. I told Him to take over as fast as He could. Nonetheless, it is God’s way to occupy us little by little.
The Lord may come to enlighten you. After two or three weeks you decide you have had enough. You quit. No more praying. No more meetings. That’s the end. But after a few weeks you begin to think of the Lord again. You find yourself talking to Him. You find yourself going to a meeting. As you sit there, inside you the tears begin to flow. Afterwards, when you get home, you kneel by your bed and pour out your heart to Him.
What makes you have an experience like that? Why should you suffer that kind of torment? What folly! What is this mysterious constraint within you? It is inexplicable, yet somehow you have been restored to the Lord. You attend the Lord’s table meeting and enjoy its sweetness. A few days pass by, and you find the Lord again knocking at the door of that very room you will not open. You answer, “Lord! Here You are again! You had better forget about this room.” Such is our story.
I can describe these experiences to you, because I have passed along this road. Over the course of fifty years, one after another the rooms have been given to the Lord. This is the Lord’s work within us as the sevenfold Spirit. He daily enlightens us and exposes our weaknesses. Even unintentionally and unwillingly we find ourselves confessing to Him.
Once a weakness is touched by the Lord, it is no longer the same. After Jacob’s thigh was touched by the Lord, he walked with a limp (Gen. 32:24-31). You used to go into a violent rage when you got angry. Now you may still lose your temper, but it has lost its vigor! Your temper is crippled. You want to flare up, but the fire will not come! Because your temper has been touched by the Lord, your rage can no longer go out of bounds.
The same thing befalls your idle talk. You would go from house to house, talking about whether Sister So-and-so was pregnant, whether Brother So-and-so was engaged, and whether that family came from East or West Malaysia. There came a time when you prayed, however, and the seven lamps shined. Why were you such a busybody? Why not preach the gospel instead of gossiping? The reproaching of those seven Spirits shining within crippled your idle talk. The next time you visit your sister-in-law, your tongue is silent. You can only ask how she is. When she begins to tell you the latest news about the neighbors, you have a sinking feeling inside. She asks what is wrong, and you do not know what to say. Your gossiping tongue has been crippled.
One after another our weaknesses are touched until they are lame. The Lord still shines until in time our weaknesses are gone.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)